CanWest turns off Canadian radio biz

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TORONTO -- CanWest Global Communications Corp. will exit Canada's radio market with its move on Monday to sell its last two radio stations to Corus Entertainment Inc. for about CAN$15 million ($13.4 million).

 Corus's purchase of the stations -- one in Kitchener, Ontario, and one in Winnipeg, Manitoba -- needs regulatory approval, the companies said. Price is also subject to closing adjustments.

 CanWest, Canada's largest media company, acknowledged it has been unable to succeed in the country's radio business and said it will pursue other opportunities.

 "Despite considerable efforts, the company has not established ... a sufficient presence in the Canadian radio market to achieve the economies of scale necessary for success in this highly competitive business," Peter Viner, chief executive of CanWest MediaWorks Inc.'s Canadian operations, said in a statement.

"In light of that, the company determined that its capital would be better deployed in higher growth opportunities and in supporting its core business requirements."

 CanWest MediaWorks is a subsidiary of CanWest.

 CanWest still has a radio presence in New Zealand, Turkey and has plans for a station in the United Kingdom.
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